The FDA Has Issued a Warning About Homeopathic Meds for Kids, Just in Time for Cold and Flu Season

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Cold and flu season is kicking into high gear, and it seems like everyone is sick! It’s hard to stay healthy this time of year. There are definitely some precautions you can take to keep your little ones from getting sick. But if they catch a bad cold or get the flu, you might want to rethink reaching for those homeopathic remedies. The FDA has issued a new warning against homeopathic meds for kids. The warning addresses some of the misleading claims the federal agency says companies have made about their products.

The new FDA warning about homeopathic remedies aims to help parents be more informed about what these medicines actually do.

The FDA warns against misleading claims made by some homeopathic remedies. Many claim to “cure” ailments like the common cold, infections, and in some cases, even incredibly serious diseases like cancer. The agency is taking a more “risk-based enforcement approach”. The FDA says, “To protect consumers who choose to use homeopathic products, this proposed new approach would update the FDA’s existing policy to better address situations where homeopathic treatments are being marketed for serious diseases and/or conditions but where the products have not been shown to offer clinical benefits. It also covers situations where products labeled as homeopathic contain potentially harmful ingredients or do not meet current good manufacturing practices.”

The FDA will be focusing on homeopathic products that do not have any proven curative properties or benefits. The agency believes these products have the highest potential to harm consumers.

This includes products with documented or reported safety concerns, products that contain ingredients with potential healthy or safety concerns, and products that promise to prevent or cure serious and/or life-threatening ailments. However, the FDA says that many homeopathic remedies and products will likely fall outside of these risk-based parameters. Those products will continue to be available to consumers.

In 2016, the FDA warned parents against using homeopathic teething tablets. The tablets contained a toxic called belladonna. Hylands, the company who made the popular teething remedy, eventually pulled their product from the market after it was linked to the deaths of 10 children.

We all want our kiddos to feel better when they’re sick! But we also need to make sure to do our due diligence and stay informed about what meds we give them. The FDA isn’t saying that homeopathic remedies don’t offer any benefit at all; some of them can definitely help relieve symptoms. But steer clear of those that promise to cure your kid’s cold or flu. We all know there isn’t a cure for those, we just have to let it run its course.

(Image: iStock / Sasha_Suzi)